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Upgrading Your HP Pavilion PC: The Official HP Guide

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Upgrading Your HP Pavilion PC: The Official HP Guide

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  • Copyright 2002
  • Edition: 1st
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  • ISBN-10: 0-13-100415-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-100415-3

Easily add memory, drives, burners and more.

  • Extend the life of your HP Pavilion PC
  • Contains plenty of photos, detailed diagrams, and step-by-step instructions!

Make your desktop HP Pavilion PC better, faster, and more useful!Whatever HP Pavilion you own—old or new—this HP authorized guide shows you exactly how to supercharge it! One step at a time, long-time PC expert Tom Sheldon shows you what to buy, what to do, and exactly how to do it. It's cheaper than you think—and easier than you ever imagined!

  • Add memory to run all your programs faster
  • Make room for more of your files with a big new hard drive
  • Burn your own audio, video, and image disks with a new CD writer or DVD writer
  • Bring astonishing realism and performance to your gaming experience
  • Learn new ways to maximize your HP Pavilion's performance without spending money!

Includes great ideas and projects for your older Pavilion!

  • Home Internet access stations
  • Fax centers
  • Digital music centers
  • Data backup devices and more!

Never upgraded a PC before? No problem: this book explains every step in detail, with photos and detailed diagrams. Already an expert? This book delivers HP-authorized information for keeping your Pavilion right where you want it: on the cutting edge!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Upgrading Memory in your HP Pavilion PC

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with a Summary.)
Start Your Engines.
Book Roadmap.
My First HP Computer.
Updates and Alerts.
Technical Level.
A Word from HP.


1. HP Pavilion Overview.
Pavilion Systems. Knowing Your Pavilion. Pavilion Models and Series Numbers. The Design of the HP Pavilion. Project: Check Out the Web. Before You Continue: About HP Warranties.

2. PC Overview for the Uninitiated.
How Computers Work. Megahertz, Gigahertz, Megabytes, and Gigabytes. More about Clock Speeds. Components of a PC. CPU. RAM and Cache. Cache Memory. The Motherboard. Video Controller and Graphics Accelerators. Audio Systems. Storage Devices and Storage Interface. Cables and External Connectors. The Case. Operating Systems and Software.

3. The Benefits of Upgrading Your HP Pavilion.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Clean It Up. Performance Upgrades. CPU Upgrades. BIOS Updates. Memory Upgrades. Video Graphics Updates. Disk Upgrades. External Bus Upgrades. Fans, Power Supplies, and Cases. Operating System Upgrades. Additional Upgrades. Human Interface Upgrades. Optical Drives. Internet Access, Modems, and Digital Services. Home Network. Scanning and Imaging System. Sound System Upgrades. Digital VCR. Digital Video Editing. What to Do with an Older Pavilion.

4. System Inspection.
What's Your Model Number? Project: Get Your Model Specifications. Project: Inspecting BIOS. Using Windows Tools for Inspection. Windows System Utility and Device Manager. Project: Using the System Information Utility. Windows XP Help and Support. Automated System Inspectors. Project: Hands-on Visual Inspection. Step 1: Determine Your Case Type. Step 2: Identify Your Expansion Bays. Step 3: Inspect the Front Panel Connectors. Step 4: Inspect the Back Panel Connectors. Project: Looking Inside the Case. Step 1: Open the Case. Step 2: Look over the Motherboard. Step 3: Inspect the Chipset. Step 4: Inspect the CPU. Step 5: Look over the Memory. Step 6: Look Over the Expansion Slots. Step 7: Inspect the Power Supply. Step 8: Close It Up.

5. Performance Issues and Troubleshooting.
Not so Complex Terminology. Identifying Bottlenecks and Problems. Software Issues. Operating System Upgrade. Windows Update Utility. Patches, Drivers, and Service Packs. Intel Application Accelerator. Tools and Techniques of the Hardware Wizards. Boot Keys. Windows Startup Menu. System and Performance Monitors. Performance Settings. System Properties for Windows 95, 98, ME. Windows XP Performance Settings. Project: Troubleshooting a Bogged Down and Bloated System. Remove Unnecessary Programs. Troubleshooting Leaking and Piggish Programs. Video Performance. Improving Hard Disk Performance. Disk Cleanup Options. Scanning and Defragmenting the Drive. IDE Update. Hardware Configurations. Power and Cooling Problems. Cooling Issues. Power Supply.


6. Memory Upgrades.
Understanding Memory. About the CPU Bus (Front Side Bus). How Much Memory Do You Need? Types of Memory. Interesting Memory Characteristics. Tips and Techniques. What Type of Memory Do You Have? Project: Verifying your Memory Type. Buying and Installing DIMMs. Buying and Installing DDR DIMMs. Buying and Installing RIMMs. Buying and Installing SIMMs.

7. Video Graphics Upgrades.
About PC Graphics Systems. Features of Graphics Systems. More About AGP. Graphics Acceleration. Investigating your Video System. Verify your Graphics Controller. View and Change Display Properties. About HP Pavilion Graphics. Video Upgrades. Project: Disabling Onboard Video. Project: Installing a New Video Card. What About Video Monitors? Multimonitor Configurations. Video Problems and Solutions. Troubleshooting Tips and Techniques. Updating Video Drivers. Specifying more Video Memory.

8. Hard Drive Performance Tuning and Upgrades.
Before you Start. Overview: Hard Drives and Hard Drive Interfaces. Drive Geometry: Cylinders, Tracks, and Sectors. Partitioning and Formatting. Disk Performance-Related Features. Disk Interfaces. The IDE Interface. ATA Standards. Check Your Current Drive. Look in the BIOS. View Drive Properties. Check DMA mode. Inspect Inside Your System before Buying. Get Additional Information. Selecting a New Hard Drive. PCI-Based UDMA Controllers. Installing the Hard Drive: Preliminary Steps. Recovery CD Issues. Back Up Your Data. Update the BIOS and Chipset Drivers. Project: Install a New Hard Drive. Type 1 Drive Cage. Type 2 Case. Type 3 Cases. Connecting the IDE Cables and Power. Check Your Setup. Running the HP Recovery Process. Part I. Establish the Disk Partition. Part II. Format And Restore. Installing a Second Drive.

9. Optical Drives.
Understanding Optical Drive Technology. Spin Rate and Data Access Rates. Read Only and Rewritable. DVD Decoding. DAE (Digital Audio Extraction). Optical Drive Configurations. Upgrade Paths for HP Pavilion Owners. Inspecting Your System. Get Current Drive Information. Project: Removing and Installing Optical Drives. Step 1: Remove the Drivers. Step 2: Open the Case. Step 3: Remove the Old Drive. Step 4: Install the New Drive. Step 5: Install the Drivers and Software. Software. Troubleshooting.

10. Sound System Upgrades.
Project: Experimenting with Your Sound System. Capture Phone Messages with Sound Recorder. Create an Outgoing Telephone Message. About Sound Systems. Sound Production and Special Effects. Advanced Soundcard Features. Digital Audio Interface. Examples of Advanced Soundcards. Speaker Systems. Inspecting Your Sound System. Look in Device Manager. Soundcards and Chips used in HP Pavilions. Choosing a New Sound Card. Adding a New Sound Card. Removing the Sound Drivers. Disabling Onboard Sound. Removing Sound Cards. Install the New Sound Card. Setting Sound Features and Parameters. Control Inputs and Outputs. View Sound and Audio Device Properties.

11. Gaming, Video Editing, and Home Entertainment Systems.
Sound Systems, Music, and Gaming. Video Card, TV Tuner, Digital VCR. ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon 8500DV. AVerMedia TV Tuner. Video Editing. Networks and Media Centers.

12. Internet Connections and Home Networking.
Inspect Your System. Networking Concepts. Wired Ethernet. Wireless Ethernet. Phone Line Networking. Broadband Internet Access. About Firewalls. Configuring your Network. More Information.

13. Outside-the-Box Expansion.
USB. USB 2.0. USB Products. More About USB Controllers and Hubs. Project: Check the Status of Your USB Interface. USB Troubleshooting. FireWire (IEEE 1394).

14. Operating System Upgrades.
Windows 95 to Windows 98 or Windows Me. Upgrading to Windows XP. Microsoft's Recommended Minimum Requirements. Hewlett-Packard's Minimum Requirements. Incompatible Software Issues. Other Recommendations.


15. Power and Cooling.
Checking for Heat and Power Problems. Dirt and Air Flow Check. Heat Check. Power Check. Project: Adding a Second Fan. Power and Power Supplies. Project: Replacing the Power Supply.

16. CPU Upgrades.
Basic Terminology. Gather Information. Step 1: Check Your BIOS. Step 2: Check Windows Device Manager. Step 3: Check Your Motherboard Information. Step 4: Inspect Inside the Case. Get your Spec Number. Step 5: Get Update Information. Step 6: Visit the Pavilion Forums. More About CPUs. Sockets and Slots. Intel Processor Packaging. Intel CPU Code Names. Intel Celeron Processors. Pentium III. Pentium 4 Processors. AMD Processors. Buying an Upgrade CPU. Project: Searching for an Intel Processor Upgrade. Another Example: A PPGA CPU. Project: Removing, Inspecting, and Installing a Socket CPU. Removing a Socket-based CPU. Installing a Socket-based CPU. Project: Removing and Installing a Slot CPU. Removing Slot-based Processor Modules. Installing the processor module.

17. Case and Motherboard Upgrades.
Pros and Cons. Advantages of Moving your HP Motherboard to a New Case. Disadvantages of Moving to a New Case. Advantages of Upgrading Your Motherboard. Problems with Upgrading the Motherboard. Decision Time. ATX and microATX (? ATX). Case Advice. Motherboard Advice. Things You'll Need if You Upgrade the Motherboard. Get More Information.


Appendix A: Pavilion Motherboard Guide.
Appendix B: Case Disassembly.
Appendix C: Backup and Recovery.
Appendix D: BIOS, Driver, and Chipset Updates.
Appendix E: Managing System Resources.
Appendix F: Managing Device Configuration.
Appendix G: Resources.



Welcome to the official "Upgrading your HP Pavilion PC" guide. This book will help you get the most out of your new or old HP Pavilion PC. You'll learn the tricks of the technicians and the hard-core HP users who have already busted into their systems to troubleshoot and upgrade.

Start Your Engines

Desktop PCs sold through retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Staples, OfficeMax, and other nationwide stores are often designed to average specifications rather than performance specifications. This minimizes technical problems and reduces support requirements. Many of these "average" PCs have great potential to be upgraded. But there are limits. For example, you can't put the latest Intel Pentium 4 in a system that was designed a few years ago for Intel Pentium III CPUs. Some systems limit the speed of the CPU, so even though faster CPUs may physically fit in the system, they won't work once installed.

Still, with the right upgrades, you might be able to turn your street-legal machine into a race car that competes with the best.

Book Roadmap

Here's how this book is structured. In Part I, I introduce some computer concepts and then go over some of the benefits of upgrading. You'll learn how to inspect your system to see exactly what you've got. Then we'll look at some performance monitoring tools and troubleshooting techniques. This will help you determine if your system is running up to par and if you must make adjustments for better performance before you go out and spend money on upgrades.

In Part II, you'll learn how to upgrade various parts of your system, including memory, video, hard drive, optical disks, sound system, and external devices like portable drives and memory.

Part III includes more advanced projects like upgrading the power supply, the CPU, and even the motherboard. You'll also find out how to keep your system running cooler to prolong its life, and how to switch the case, just in case you need more room inside the box for upgrades.

Finally, the Appendices. They are not to be ignored. In fact, you won't be able to ignore them because they contain general information about all the different HP Pavilion PC models. The appendices help you identify your system and show you how to disassemble your particular model. The appendices also contain technical information that not all readers need, so I pushed it to the back of the book. Appendix G contains a list of important resources on the Web where you can get more information about your HP Pavilion PC.

It is important to understand that this book does not directly focus on individual HP Pavilion PC models. There are hundreds of models, too many to cover individually. Instead, I focus on the motherboards used inside these models. HP has used over 30 different motherboards in its Pavilion PC models, and by focusing on just motherboards, I can provide a reasonable amount of information in the small space of this book. Just keep in mind that what you read here is not always specific to your model, but I show you how to get your model-specific information at various HP Web sites.

Appendix A is where to go to determine what motherboard your system has. There, you can look up your HP Pavilion PC model number and its motherboard. HP motherboards have names like Berlin, Cognac, Hawk, Condor, Pandora, and Samba. These motherboard names make it easy to talk about your computer with HP technical support and in the wider HP Pavilion community on the Web. Appendix A contains a description of your motherboard and provides you with enough information to appear as somewhat of an expert when chatting on the HP Pavilion user forums. Appendix G provides the Web addresses for these forums.

Disclaimer: I did not have access to every HP model while writing this book, so some of the information is based on HP technical documents and manuals. Because HP models are included in a series, there are often discrepancies in the specifications. In some cases, models were built with parts different from the description. This was usually due to a transition in the parts available for building a system (some systems were built with more advanced parts than those listed in the general specifications). I have done my best to resolve these discrepancies, but you will need to use several methods to verify your own specifications as outlined in the text. The CPU upgrade guide (Table 16.1) was the most difficult, because motherboards typically have many different revisions. The newest revisions have fixes and updates that allow for faster CPU upgrades. However, I cannot tell you which revision your model contains or if it has upgrade limitations. You may need to obtain your motherboard revision number and refer to an authorized HP service representative before buying CPU upgrades.

My First HP Computer

By the way, I've been using Hewlett-Packard computers for a long time. Check out this picture of my old HP 41C calculator. It's really a complete computer system in a handheld design, and it is over 25 years old! The keypad and display are alphanumeric so you can type in messages and programs and use it as you would a modern PDA. The system includes a magnetic card reader for saving and loading programs and messages, and a bar code scanner for reading in program code or to make typing easier. It also includes printer and memory expansion modules. You can plug in specially designed application modules that provide a variety of business, scientific, and engineering applications. Best of all, programs and applications are still available from many sources.

Updates and Alerts

Here's the address of my Web site where I will post book updates and new information about upgrading your HP Pavilion PC.


Please check the site occasionally. I'm also developing some videos that I hope to "stream" from the Web site. These videos will help illustrate some of the upgrade procedures more clearly than the black and white photos you see here.

Technical Level

If you are new to PC hardware, some of the upgrade projects presented here may seem complex. My philosophy in writing the book was to provide as much information as possible rather than gloss over topics. Please refer to a qualified technician if you are confused about a project. But before doing so, use this book as a guide to learn about your upgrade options and find out what upgrades are best for your system. You will learn a lot about your PC and be able to talk with your technician on a higher level.

A Word from HP

This book is intended for advanced PC users who are knowledgeable about PC technology, familiar with electronic safety guidelines, and experienced with hand tools. Without this awareness, get assistance from a knowledgeable person or for best results, from an authorized HP service provider.

Users of this material are advised to review and understand the terms of their product warranty. HP warrants its product only in the configuration in which it is shipped from the factory. If you alter the configuration of your HP Pavilion PC such that it terminates the warranty, and later require the assistance of HP Technical Support, you will be charged on a time and materials basis.

The concepts and procedures presented in this work are those of Mr. Tom Sheldon, a noted technical author, who is not an employee of Hewlett-Packard Company.

—The Hewlett-Packard Company


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